CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)

Virtual Learning Status update - 10/14/2020

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Main Campus on Virtual Learning Status - 10/08/2020

Due to two positive COVID reports associated with our athletics teams resulting in over 50 of our students being moved to designated quarantine, I am placing the main campus on a two-week Virtual Learning status.  This status does not affect students in Non-Traditional Programs.  This Virtual Learning Status means:

Students

  1. We will offer all courses virtually beginning tomorrow, Friday, Oct 9 – Friday, Oct 23. 
  2. Residence Halls remain open and students can remain in their residence hall rooms. 
  3. Those students who have been in direct contact with a positive COVID individual may be moved to our designated quarantine space as determined by the Office of Student Life.
  4. The Dining Hall remains open and all meals will be delivered to students by the residence life staff.
  5. We recommend and encourage all residence hall students to remain on campus.  We do not want any spread to your families at home.
  6. Students who have not been placed in the designated quarantine housing can leave campus for work and other necessary travel.
  7. Students, if you become symptomatic, please immediately contact the Office of Student Life.

Faculty and Staff

  1. All faculty will be move to virtual learning for their classes beginning Friday, Oct 9 – Friday, Oct 23.
  2. All staff will go to Remote Work status from Friday, Oct 9 – Friday, Oct 16.  We will make an assessment about continuing remote work by Thursday, October 15.   I am authorizing Executive Staff and Admission/Recruiting to continue work on campus and the campus remains open for meetings and visits associated with these offices.

Download the OCU COVID-19 Response Plan

University officials are closely monitoring this evolving global public health situation. We remain committed to keeping our OCU community informed about the university's actions and the best way to stay healthy as events continue to develop. While the threat to our campus community remains low, we will communicate as quickly as possible if there are developments in Southern Indiana or on campus. Below, are commonly asked questions regarding COVID-19, how it might affect the Oakland City University community, and resources for additional information. 

Medical alert - Coronavirus

CARES Act Reporting

Campus Communications

Virtual Learning Status update - 10/14/2020

Watch the Video

Main Campus on Virtual Learning Status - 10/08/2020

Due to two positive COVID reports associated with our athletics teams resulting in over 50 of our students being moved to designated quarantine, I am placing the main campus on a two-week Virtual Learning status.  This status does not affect students in Non-Traditional Programs.  This Virtual Learning Status means:

Students

  1. We will offer all courses virtually beginning tomorrow, Friday, Oct 9 – Friday, Oct 23. 
  2. Residence Halls remain open and students can remain in their residence hall rooms. 
  3. Those students who have been in direct contact with a positive COVID individual may be moved to our designated quarantine space as determined by the Office of Student Life.
  4. The Dining Hall remains open and all meals will be delivered to students by the residence life staff.
  5. We recommend and encourage all residence hall students to remain on campus.  We do not want any spread to your families at home.
  6. Students who have not been placed in the designated quarantine housing can leave campus for work and other necessary travel.
  7. Students, if you become symptomatic, please immediately contact the Office of Student Life.

Faculty and Staff

  1. All faculty will be move to virtual learning for their classes beginning Friday, Oct 9 – Friday, Oct 23.
  2. All staff will go to Remote Work status from Friday, Oct 9 – Friday, Oct 16.  We will make an assessment about continuing remote work by Thursday, October 15.   I am authorizing Executive Staff and Admission/Recruiting to continue work on campus and the campus remains open for meetings and visits associated with these offices.

Coronavirus Response

coronavirus response

Student Emergency Grant Information

Oakland City University is currently reviewing new guidance regarding the distribution of funds received for student emergency grants from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Grant. Current approved applications have had checks mailed to students with the most recently processed checks mailed on June 11, 2020. Applications received after June 5, 2020 will be processed weekly.

Information regarding how OCU determined how it will distribute these funds is available below in the report included in the section labeled Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students. Please know that OCU is in the process of developing an updated guideline for distribution of funds based on guidance received in late May from the U.S. Department of Education. View the Report

We appreciate your patience as we continue to review the guidance received and update our processes for the distribution of funds.

Weekly Update from Dr. Dempsey - Tuesday, May 20, 2020

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Weekly Update from Dr. Dempsey - Thursday, April 30, 2020

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Weekly Update from Dr. Dempsey - Tuesday, April 21, 2020

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Weekly Update from Dr. Dempsey - Monday, March 30, 2020

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Remote work for employees has been extended through April 13th, 2020.

Weekly Update from Dr. Dempsey - Wednesday, March 25, 2020

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New hours for the OCU Library:  Monday – Friday 10:00 am to 4:30 pm (scheduled appointments only) – from Dr. Pinnick

Good afternoon, my prayers for you are that all stays well and safe. In light of what is going on and the desire to take every precaution to keep our OCU community safe, the library hours and access to the library are changing.

Starting on March 25th the library will be operating on an appointment basis only.  The library doors will be locked but Dr. Pinnick will be available on site from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm for any student, staff, or faculty member.  Dr. Pinnick will also be available, off site from 4:30 pm to 10:00 pm.  To schedule an appointment, you may call 812-749-1267 or 812-890-0371.

If you are needing access to an item (print book, printed article, etc.) let me know that when you call and I will have the item(s) available for you when you get to the library.  You can also contact Dr. Pinnick via email at dpinnick@oak.edu.  Please do not hesitate to reach out if you are needing information and/or items from the library.

If you have items checked out from the library, you may get overdue notices (the system sends them out automatically) but, for now, you can contact Dr. Pinnick and ask for renewals or just ignore the messages and we will waive your fines when your items are returned.  If you have interlibrary loan books out, you can bring them in (schedule an appointment), mail them to us, or just hang on to them until this all ends. 

Update on Oakland City University’s response to the Corona Virus Pandemic  3.20.2020

In order to maintain the business continuity of the campus and address staff concerns and well-being, on Monday, March 23, 2020 OCU will operate with essential staff and remote work for two weeks. The university plans to resume normal staff operations on Monday, April 6, 2020. During this period, campus offices will be closed to the public.

The university believes this action is warranted in order to sustain the mental well-being of our employees and to support those with childcare concerns during this global pandemic.

Those staff designated Essential will be expected to come to campus to complete their work, although they may operate on an alternative schedule as assigned by their supervisor. 

Those employees designated as Remote will need to complete their tasks from off-campus, however, they may be required to come to campus for some tasks.  Please utilize video conferencing (Teams or Zoom) for necessary meetings along with telephone and email.  Communication is key, so err on the side of over-communicating during this time. 

Employees that are designated Other will not have daily responsibilities but should be in an on-call mentality should the need arise to assist or take-over essential responsibilities within their department. The campus will remain open for campus personnel and students. Staff should come to campus as their responsibilities require. 

All employees will be paid for the hours they would have normally worked during this time for our organization.  It is our hope that this two-week period will help to relieve some of the worries that our employees are experiencing during this time and assist many who are struggling to find adequate childcare.  The university will continue to monitor the local situation and adjust our response accordingly.

The residence halls and food services remain open to our students who choose to remain on campus.  Our scheduled spring break is March 21-29.  When students return to campus they will be relocated to individual rooms for the remainder of the semester.  The university believes this will aid in social distancing and any need for self-isolation.  Our food service will continue to offer take out for students during the two week Essential/Remote period. During Spring Break week, there will be a brunch and dinner option. 

As a Christian university, we believe in the power of prayer.  We continue to pray for our nation and our world.  Many people are experiencing financial hardships, loneliness, sickness, and death.  In our executive office morning bible reading and prayer, I read from Philippians chapter 2 so “if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ.”  Many people do not know Christ and cannot take comfort from the peace that He brings.  Pray that they will come to know the peace of Christ Jesus during this crisis.

Publication Date – Thursday, March 19, 2020 – Update on OCU’s response to the Corona Virus Pandemic Per Spring Break– Campus wide email 

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread across our nation, as a university, we want to continue to take necessary and prudent precautions to keep YOU and our campus safe.

Realizing spring break is next week, it is important to provide resident students with some things to consider.  When the decision was made to keep the residence halls open, the thought behind it was that OCU is relatively a safe community, as long as our students remain on campus. What we have seen over the last week is many students leaving for a day or two and then returning to campus. As we approach spring break, we want to continue to keep our residence halls open for those who wish/need to stay for the remainder of the spring semester; however, with the COVID-19 continuing to spread, we feel it is necessary to take additional precautions until this pandemic is behind us.

  1. If you are planning to travel during spring break AND return to campus, we will most likely ask that you relocate to another room.  This would allow you or any other resident student who may need to self-isolate for 14 days, to do so.    
  2. Prior to any spring break travels, please make certain your travel destinations are still open – many attractions such as resorts and beaches have been ordered to close.
  3. If your plan is to continue to live on campus, we ask that you please limit your travels for essential needs, in order to continue to keep our community safe. Essential needs would be to go to grocery store, pick up prescriptions, medical emergencies, etc.
  4. At this time, residence life staff are determining how best to consolidate resident students. Please know if you choose to remain on campus, you may be asked to move to another residence hall.
  5. In keeping with the guidance of the CDC, we are cancelling all Student Activities programming, SGA programming, and Residence Life programming until March 30th.  We will meet towards the end of spring break to determine future programming. 
  6. Until further notice, we will be limiting visitation in the residence halls to only OCU resident students. Again, please know that all of these measures are in place to keep our community safe.

So, as you think about spring break and your travel plans, please consider if it will be in your best interests to either remain on campus or to officially check-out and return home for the remainder of this spring semester. 

Also, please remember that you have access to our Personal Counselor, Melinda Sams, 812.749.1396 or msams@oak.edu or our Campus Pastor, Jeff Bralley, 812.749.1455 or jbralley@oak.edu

Publication Date – Thursday, March 12, 2020 – Update on OCU’s response to the Corona Virus Pandemic – Campus wide email 

As stated in the first update, OCU bases its decisions now and in the future on the following reasons:

  1. Our university is more closely connected to our local and regional community. 

    • As of today, no cases of the virus have been reported in our region. 
    • However, all other institutions of higher education in our region have chosen to offer their courses online for a period of time.
    • Our public schools are seriously considering limited closings.
    • We are a small community of learners and, therefore, can adapt more nimbly to a changing situation.
    • We highly value our personal instruction and seek to maintain that model if at all possible.  Other considerations have now overridden this particular value.
    • OCU is committed to ensuring the health and safety of our students and the OCU community.

Other reasons and beliefs which have affected our current decisions.

  1. As a pandemic, there is no stopping the virus.  It is spreading and we will be living with it for a while. 
  2. Our decisions are based on my concern for the mental well-being our students and their parents/families.  The hysteria surrounding this virus is real no matter what the facts may be.  Students are away from parents/families and that brings anxiety when one lives in such interesting times.
  3. We possess the capability to deliver classes online, a capacity which many other institutions do not possess.  To that end, I salute our faculty for their preparedness and their capacity. 
  4. Due to the make-up of our student body, I have concerns (broadband access, home environment, international issues) and believe that some students would be better off remaining on our campus, so I want to provide them that opportunity.

Actions to be taken as of Monday, March 16, 2020:

  1. All courses on the OCU main campus and on adult professional education sites will be taught online for the rest of the Spring 2020 semester. Students will be given instructions by their faculty members as to procedures for online instruction.
  2. The campus remains open.  All offices, departments remain open.  The residence halls remain open.  Food services will continue.  If a student wishes to stay on the campus until the end of the semester, they can do so.
  3. All spring athletic events will continue.  We realize that those events will be affected by other colleges and university decisions about their campuses and their athletics.   All non-spring athletic teams will discontinue activities. 
  4. If residential students choose to go home permanently for the semester and not return to campus, then we ask that they let us know. 
  5. We have asked Pioneer College Catering to implement their level II protocol which means there will be no self-served stations in the dining hall and all food and drink will be served by food service personnel. 
  6. The inauguration has been postponed until the fall.  We will wait until mid-April to make a decision on graduation.

We continue to encourage all students, faculty, and staff to take personal preventive actions recommended by the CDC:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipes.

If campus constituents have concerns they would like to address, please contact the campus coordinator, Mr. Brad Knotts as bknotts@oak.edu or 812-749-1215.  We appreciate your patience and diligence during these extraordinary times.

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Publication Date – Wednesday, March 11, 2020 – Status of OCU’s response to the Coronavirus. – Campus wide email 

Many of you are aware of the recent decisions by Indiana University, Purdue, and other large universities across the nation to move their course instruction of students to online for the remainder of the semester.  Many of these same institutions also have decided to close their campuses.  Oakland City University is monitoring the situation daily and preparing our structures and processes for the possibility of online instruction or closure. Currently, we are not moving to online/alternative forms of course delivery or closing any of our campus sites.  We are basing our decisions now and in the future on the following reasons:

  • Our university is more closely connected to our local and regional community.  As of today, no cases of the virus have been reported in our region.  Our public schools, businesses, and governmental agencies remain open and functioning.
  • We are a small community of learners and, therefore, can adapt more nimbly to a changing situation.
  • We highly value our personal instruction and seek to maintain that model if at all possible.
  • OCU is committed to ensuring the health and safety of our students and the OCU community.

To that end, we have chosen to take the following actions:

  • We ask every faculty and staff member teaching this semester to accommodate students who are not feeling well by being flexible with attendance policies.
  • We are developing a website which will contain information about the current status of the COVID-19 virus and our current status.
  • All normal campus operations will continue at this time. The Oakland City campus and APS will remain open.
  • SPRING BREAK
    • RESIDENCE HALLS: Our residence halls will remain open during spring break.  We also will be providing food service during spring break (which we normally do not do) to accommodate any students who choose to remain in residential housing for the break. 
    • STUDENTS TRAVELING: If students choose to travel to places other than their homes, we are asking those students to inform the Office of Student Life.  We may choose to monitor those students once they return to campus.
  • TRAVEL: We are encouraging students, faculty, and staff to minimize travel until the end of the semester.
  • FOOD SERVICE.  Our food service provider, Pioneer College Caterers, has protocols in place to address food service.  If necessary, they will implement protocols where self-served stations are discontinued and all food and drink is served by Pioneer staff to students, faculty, staff, and guests.
  • EVENTS: We have two large events in the next three months: The Presidential Inauguration and Graduation.  As of today, those events will occur, but preparations have been made to suspend them if necessary.  All student organizations and athletic events will continue as planned. 

We encourage all students, faculty, and staff to take personal preventive actions recommended by the CDC:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipes.

We will continue to monitor the changing situation and update the campus regularly.  If campus constituents have concerns they would like to address, please contact the campus coordinator, Mr. Brad Knotts as bknotts@oak.edu or 812-749-1215.  We appreciate your patience and diligence during these extraordinary times.

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Publication Date – March 10, 2020 – Campus wide email

Good evening OCU!

The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) is closely monitoring an outbreak of the 2019 novel (new) coronavirus or COVID-19. This new respiratory virus was first identified in the city of Wuhan in China’s Hubei Province and continues to infect people in China and around the world, including the United States. On March 6, ISDH confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in a Hoosier with recent travel. ISDH reported the second presumptive positive case of COVID-19 in the state on March 8. ISDH has added a new dashboard below that will be updated daily with the most up-to-date case counts. Please click here for the most recent press releases related to COVID-19.

ISDH is working with federal and local partners to respond to this evolving public health situation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the risk of infection in the United States is low, as the virus has had limited person-to-person spread in the United States at this time. The CDC does not have any evidence to suggest that animals or animal products imported from China pose a risk for spreading COVID-19 in the United States.

Please consult Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) COVID-19 for updated news and guidance on the COVID-19 outbreak.

As a university, the health and safety of our community members are paramount. With this in mind, please know that should it become necessary, Oakland City University has created alternative plans to complete the semester. We will continue to closely monitor this situation as it unfolds.

Please take care of yourself and take precautions to remain healthy. Additional information is available from the CDC Prevention & Treatment.

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Publication Date – March 8, 2020 3:27 p.m. – Campus wide email

The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) is closely monitoring an outbreak of the 2019 novel (new) coronavirus or COVID-19. This new respiratory virus was first identified in the city of Wuhan in China’s Hubei Province and continues to infect people in China and around the world, including the United States. On March 6, ISDH confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in a Hoosier with recent travel. ISDH reported the second presumptive positive case of COVID-19 in the state on March 8. Click here for the most recent update.

ISDH is working with federal and local partners to respond to this evolving public health situation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the risk of infection in the United States is low, as the virus has had limited person-to-person spread in the United States at this time. The CDC does not have any evidence to suggest that animals or animal products imported from China pose a risk for spreading COVID-19 in the United States.

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Publication Date – March 4, 2020 7:00 p.m. – Campus wide email

College and University Guidance

Good day OCU!

Hope you are having a good week. If you have been watching/listening to any news stations lately, I’m sure you have heard about the coronavirus. 

As a university community, I want to let you know that we are monitoring updates from both the Indiana State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding the coronavirus and will continue to keep you posted as new updates come in.

Attached, you can find a communication we received last Thursday (February 27, 2020) from Health Commissioner Lubbers, with the Indiana State Department of Health.  It provides information/guidance  about coronavirus, common symptoms, how it is spread, treatment information, and preventative measures that can be taken to reduce the spread of respiratory viruses, like coronavirus (COVID-19).  I believe the most important take away to this update for us, at this time, can be found on page 2 – the preventative measures we can all practice in our daily routines.

We will continue to keep you posted as we learn new information regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Thank you and God bless,

Bradley R. Knotts, Director of Student Life 

HEERF/CARES Act Reporting

Oakland City University continues to monitor the impact COVID-19 is having on the OCU community.

In an effort to assist students with the financial impact resulting from the disruption to their educational program due to the pandemic, Dr. Dempsey signed and returned to the U. S. Department of Education the Certification and Agreement required for OCU to receive a portion of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund. Included in the agreement is the assurance that the institution intends to use no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to qualifying Title IV students.

For more information, please download the most recent update.

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19, also known as Coronavirus, is a new respiratory virus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Learn about COVID-19 at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

What are Symptoms and Complications that COVID-19 can cause?

Current symptoms reported for patients with COVID-19 have included mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Read about COVID-19 symptoms.

Has anyone in the university community been infected?

No cases of COVID-19 have been reported among OCU students, faculty, staff, or the local community.  Should a case be positively identified, appropriate communications will be sent, as guided by the Indiana State Department of Health. For additional information regarding locations impacted by COVID-19, please visit the CDC's Global Map.

How does the coronavirus spread?

Coronavirus is thought to spread mainly from person to person between people who are in close contact (within 6 feet). The virus spreads via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes on nearby people or are inhaled into their lungs. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface that has the virus on it and touching their mouth or eyes before washing their hands, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. For more information, please see the CDC page, How COVID-19 Spreads.

How can I help protect myself?

The best preventative steps for any communicable disease include simple, but important measures to practice as part of your daily routine, especially during flu season:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Distance yourself from others if COVID-19 is spreading in your community
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and throw away the tissue
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily
  • Additional information can be found from the CDC Preventative Measures page

I plan to travel outside the U.S. What should I do?

All members of our community should be aware of these guidelines:

  • The university does not support any travel to nations or areas where there is an elevated risk of contracting COVID-19. Elevated risk is identified by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Risk Assessment Levels 2 or 3. The list currently includes China, Japan, South Korea, Iran, and Italy. You can find the most up to date areas of elevated risk at CDC travel alerts.
  • Any individuals returning to the campus from a Level 2 or Level 3 country or area should notify the university and self-isolate away from campus for a minimum of 14 days.
  • Travel abroad carries potential risks. Be aware that even a country or region not currently experiencing an outbreak could suddenly be declared a high-risk area, posing risks of exposure, difficulty with travel, or immigration barriers upon return.

What if I had close contact with someone I believe to have been exposed to Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

  • Take your temperature twice a day and remain alert for fever, coughs, or breathing difficulties
  • If you develop a fever, cough, or have difficulty breathing:
    • Students: Contact your primary care physician by telephone or email.  If you are a resident student, you can also contact the Office of Student Life and we can assist you in contacting the Oakland City Deaconess Clinic, located on our main campus.
    • Faculty & Staff: Contact your primary care physician via telephone or email.
  • The university requests that you self-isolate, off-campus if possible, pending further instructions from medical professionals. If employees have questions about leave, they should contact Human Resources.
  • For further guidance, please see the CDC page, Interim US Guidance Risk Assessment and Public Health Management of Persons with Potential COVID-19 Exposure

If you are a student who self-isolates:

  • Email your instructors to discuss appropriate class adjustments or accommodations. If you need assistance, please contact Brad Knotts, Director of Student Life, 812.749.1215 or bknotts@oak.edu
  • Inform the Office of Student Life, 812.749.1421.

If you are a Professor with a student who self-isolates and asks for class adjustments:

  • We ask that you give consideration for appropriate adjustments or accommodations.
  • Examples include:
    • Utilize available platforms to record lectures
    • Granting some flexibility with course attendance policies.
    • Helping secure course/lecture notes.
    • Modifying deadlines for assignments or exams that normally take place during the course meeting time.
  • Faculty members who have questions about how to make appropriate adjustments/accommodations should contact their school dean or the Disabilities Coordinator, Karen Nasseri, 812.749.1483.

What will the university do if there is a possible case identified within the OCU community (students, faculty, and staff)?

Should a case be positively identified, appropriate communications will occur, as guided by the Indiana State Department of Health. The university has made arrangements for quarantining students if needed. Administration will work with faculty to make accommodations for extended student absences.

I am ill and need to miss class – what should I do?

Students who are ill should not attend classes. They should contact their professors via email or telephone to discuss appropriate adjustments. It is also encouraged to contact the Office of Student Life, 812.749.1421.

How can we prevent social stigmatization?

The university strongly encourages our campus community to become familiar with the facts about COVID-19 and support one another with compassion. The OCU harassment and discrimination policies prohibits different treatment or harassment of any students and/or employees based on their ethnicity.

How is OCU keeping students, faculty, and staff informed?

For up to date communications, the university will communicate via OCU email.  This webpage will also be updated accordingly as new information is available.

Where can I go for more information?

For additional information or questions, please direct questions to:

  • Students:     Brad Knotts, Office of Student Life, 812.749.1421
  • Faculty:        Dr. Danny Dunivan, Office of Academic Affairs, 812.749.1238
  • Staff:            Clint Woolsey, Vice President for Administration, 812.749.1441